For many years, the story of the relationship between Jonathan and David has been used by some to hint there was an emotional/passionate love between these two men. In so doing, it illustrates the absence of knowledge about Hebrew culture and history since Jewish culture solidly forbids homosexuality.
Bible research on the friendship between these two people is very clear. Jonathan and David committed to a covenant (binding) of brotherly love. God, Himself, called David “a man after my own heart who will do everything I want.” (Acts 13:22) Biblical history describes the character of Jonathan, son of Saul, as “nearly perfect.”
On the pure side, this story reflects a beautiful portrayal of God’s covenant love between two people of the same sex. This type of love does not demand total perfection or the fulfillment of expectations emotionally or physically another human heart cannot give. It is impossible for any male or female to satisfy the totality of every need, desire, and emotion of another--past, present or future.
God’s love is active. It is filled with power that recognizes the heart and soul of every person even when His love is rejected. Not imprisoned or intimidated by emotions or feelings, His amazing ingredient, called grace, demonstrates the attitude of His essence.
And what’s the big deal about grace? We all know it’s something we didn’t expect or deserve. But what makes God’s grace any different from an unexpected reward of human favor? First of all, it is fundamental to God’s interaction with humankind and is the highest expression of love for His human creation.
Please permit me to share a few examples:
I could fill an entire book expressing countless examples of God’s grace.
The primary difference between human grace and God’s grace is His is unchangeable and consistent and never stops working to love, forgive, and protect. His love brings life. This truly is a big deal!
Emotions and feelings can be as shaky as the aftershock of an earthquake. They become even more shaky when physical passion enters the mix. For example, one of David’s sons carried a love torch for his half-sister, Tamar. After concocting a diabolical scheme to get her alone, he raped her. Immediately following his sexual encounter with her, “he hated her.” In fact, it was said his hatred was much greater than his extraordinary love for her.
Unless my heart is first occupied by Godly love that accepts His undeserved favor and forgiving grace 24/7, there will be little value in saying how much I love another. My opportunity to experience “true” love is fractured.
Substituting one person to fill the hole left by another (mother, father, spouse) is like making counterfeit money. Regardless of how much it looks or feels like the real thing, it is still “funny money” and eventually will be recognized.
The big deal rests not only in the type of love but also in the object of your love.
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Augustine